Review: Leroi's back! Well... He never went away. As a studiosmith and designer his fingerprints are all over many of Colemine's on-point curations, but now we're about to enjoy a whole new tonne of Conroy as he prepares to drop his debut album. These two heavyweight instrumentals set the scene perfectly; "Tiger Trot" looks east for melodic inspiration with a touch of New Orleans in the swampy sweaty delivery. "Enter" hits with more of a jazzier, freeform air as we spiral into trumpet dizziness into deep bluesy introspection and some damn fine breaks from fellow Colemine consistency Rob Houk. Only 300 copies pressed.
Review: There's no denying that Quem E Quem is arguably the standout album by Joao Donato, a star of Brasil's MPB (short for "musica populera brasileira") scene who continues to record to this day. The album is naturally heavily influenced by American soul and jazz-funk, but has an altogether more pastoral tone, with Donato's dewy-eyed, heart-felt vocals coming gift-wrapped in gentle samba and bossanova melodies, Pat Metheny style guitar solos, breeze-fresh flute solos and jaunty pianos. It's a blend that results in a superb mixture of up-tempo cuts and more reflective songs, all of which are as delightful as slowly watching the sun set somewhere hot and sunny.
Review: Peace and football: not only the best compilation album title of 2006 (and possibly every year since) but also an immaculate collection of Brazilian folk, funk, disco and soul by Sonar Kollektiv champs Jazzanova. Ten years on and the SK dons are back with a second edition of Paz E Futbol, compiled with just as much care as an homage to football's spiritual home as that debut record. To adopt the football parlance, the band's digging duties score goal after goal after goal; the smoky Simoneisms of Ary Lobo, the heavenly vibraphonics of Skymark, the slippery time signature and almost cosmic bossa of Lucas Santana, the raw jazz soul of Nathan Haines, the list goes on. Peace out.
Review: Following 2012's fourth volume that celebrated the existential work of Tim Maia, here we find Luaka Bop exploring the legacy of William Onyeabor. A high chief and Kenyan diplomat who allegedly refuses to discuss his music, he self-released eight albums in the 70s and 80s and these are some of the many highlights. Stretching from the New York-influenced post-punk synth funk of "Good Name" to the most authentic Afro fusion of "Why Go To War", Onyeabor's range not only reflects his clear creative skill, but also the ever-developing international language of music during the fruitful period he was active. Who is William Onyeabor? Press play and find out yourselves...
Review: A tale of two Dusty Springfield's on this special RSD 7". "What's It Going To Be" is a straight up, sweaty and stompy northern soul classic while the heavily-sampled "Spooky" explores Springfield's more sultry, purring, sexual side. But then you probably knew that already. Two classic Dusty jams, one excellent RSD special; only 1000 of these 45s have been pressed. You know what to do.